Details have been confirmed for the West End transfer of Bartlett Sher’s production on The King and I, which will open at the London Palladium in 2018. Sher’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical stars Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe, who will both reprise their roles as Anna and The King. The pair were both nominated for Tony Awards during the Broadway run in 2015, with O’Hara going on to win the award for Best Leading Actress.
The King and I Tickets
The King and I comes to the London Palladium as director Bartlett Sher brings his Lincoln Center Theater production direct from Broadway. The show stars Kelli O'Hara as Anna and Ken Watanabe as the King, both reprising their roles from the 2015 New York run.
Based on the Margaret Landon novel Anna and the King of Siam, Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the musical for Broadway in 1951. It tells the story of a British teacher, Ana, who is hired by the King of Siam as he tried to modernise his country, but the pair’s relationship is marred by conflict throughout the musical. It features the well-known numbers “Something Wonderful”, “I Whistle a Happy Tune”, “I Have Dreamed” and “Shall We Dance?”.
It opened at the St James Theatre and was expected to be a hit, which worried the writing duo. However, their worries were put to rest when Yul Brynner, who played the King, put in a show-stealing performance and Gertrude Lawrence, who originated the role of Anna, overcame illness to put in an outstanding performance.
The original London production opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in October 1953, and ran for 946 performances. The cast featured Muriel Smith, Herbert Lom, and Valerie Hobson, for whom it was her last stage role.
The show has run at the London Palladium twice before. Brynner reprised the role for a run at the theatre in 1979, for which is co-star Virginia McKenna starred as Anna and won an Olivier Award. It returned in March of 2000, directed by Christopher Renshaw. Elaine Paige starred with Jason Scott Lee, and the show was nominated for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical.
Bartlett Sher’s production will star six-time tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara as Anna, and Ken Watanabe, who made his Broadway debut in the production, as the King. It will run at the London Palladium from June 2018.
The King and I Customer reviews
Latest The King and I News & Features
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I is set for a West End run at the London Palladium, starting in June 2018, according to the Daily Mail. Bartlett Sher’s Lincoln Center Theater production is set to transfer with cast members Kelli O’Hara, who won a Tony Award for her role as Anna, and Ken Watanabe, who made his Broadway debut in the musical. The production will begin previews at the Palladium form 21st June 2018, booking until 4th August.